New (to Me) 2000 Kawasaki W650

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by The Jerk, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    I'm looking at Hagons for the rear and RaceTech emulators for the front but I still need to do more research on straight springs vs. progressives for the front. I think RaceTech actually recommends straight-wound springs on the front (if I recall my reading from last year right). I'm gonna have to start looking into it again. What do the W650 thread suspension experts think?
  2. folmonty

    folmonty Been here awhile

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    No real definitive answer on that one. Was wondering the same as it's something I ran into with another application on the RT valves. What I have found is that the Progressive springs are longer, and use a cut down spacer where the Hagon's are same length and use the stock spacer. This doesn't answer your question. Think I'll call RT tomorrow and see if I can get clarification. On this low tech front end wonder if we'd even be able to discern any difference? Worth a phone call or email at least.

    Today I bought the RT valves. Committed to at least those and rear shocks. Hagon has a good rep among the W crowd on yahoo groups. That's the best bunch I've found. There are two groups. One active and one has been in hibernation for a while. Basically the same folks. As everyone knows there are only so many Wubya's out there anyway.

    Spring is around the corner and everyone starting to "get the itch!"
  3. folmonty

    folmonty Been here awhile

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    Did Evolution Suspension say if they cut the spacer to 2" or anything specific on how they set it up? If anyone would know, have to be you hockeygoon. Roads in your hood are good as it gets and then some. Riding a Wubya instead of a nasty dual sport says something about the bike and you too! Must be sloppy up there right about now?
  4. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Haven't tried Progressives . . . . think there must be a little dive with the soft initial response . . :dunno

    Race Tech rocks, IMHO. Springs and emulators. Kit contains enough tubing to make new spacers--simple hacksaw work. Even a dork like me can do it . . :rofl

    Made a huge difference in the front--even more so with a superbrace.

    Hagons helped in the rear, but I think Dave at Hagon's USA talked me into a little too much spring. Ride's a touch brutal--but certainly not slushy like 10 year old stock shocks . . . :eek1
  5. hockeygoon

    hockeygoon Been here awhile

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    I don't recall to be honest. I had it done about 5 years ago now.
  6. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    Race Tech, on the FAQ section of their web site, have this to say about progressive springs in forks:
    -----------

    Q: I have heard of progressive springs and this concept makes sense to me. Why does Race Tech recommend Straight Rate Springs for forks?

    A: When setting up the spring forces in a bike you want a setup that is progressive enough yet not too progressive. A setup that is not progressive enough will have a tendency to feel too harsh yet when a big hit is encountered bottoming occurs. A setup that is too progressive will either drop through the travel feeling mushy and then feel as though it hits a wall or can feel good until it hits that wall. On front forks there are two forces we consider to be "spring" forces. First is the coil (mechanical) spring and second is the force due to air pressure and oil level. Even if you run zero air pressure the oil level causes the pressure to increase as the forks are compressed. By its very nature this increase in pressure is very progressive. We have found that in combination with a straight wound spring we have a good level of progressiveness. If we want more progressiveness we simply raise the oil level.

    Another subtle benefit of straight wound springs is that they are easy to understand. In order to make sense of progressively wound springs you really have to map out the force as you compress the spring. For example a spring marked 20/40 lb/in (excuse me for the Imperial units but this will work with metric units as well) may start out at 20 lbs/in in the first inch but where does the 40 refer to? It might be referring to the rate in the 4th inch or it could be referring to the rate in the 6th inch. This would cause a huge difference in ride.
    -----------

    Any thoughts on this line of reasoning? It kinda makes sense to me but then I'm no suspension expert.
  7. ORexpat

    ORexpat Oregon Expatriate

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    Ain't now engineer. But RT works for me.

    Besides, the Dubya's along way from a high strung race bike. But any improvement in the handling is welcome. I won't--and I suspect most of us won't--press the bike enough to notice subtle differences.
  8. hockeygoon

    hockeygoon Been here awhile

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    Huh, you know, I thought I had progressive rate springs up front, but my suspension guy did all the ordering (I just picked out the purty rear shocks), so it might just have been springs rated for my body weight, but straight rate ones. I likely lost the paperwork when I moved back east, but maybe I can poke around and find it to know for sure.

    I'm no suspension expert either. I'd guess those Race Tech guys know what they are doing.
  9. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    Hmm I think I'll call up Race Tech to consult. I'm definitely thinking gold valve emulators and RT fork springs. They have a nice online spring rate calculator but I'd like to double-check it with them.

    In other news, I did get in contact with Dave Quinn Cycles for the Hagon rear shock upgrade. Based on all my info they recommended the stock spring rate (110 lbs/in if I recall correctly). The Hagons use progressive springs. They noted that if I didn't like the spring rate after test riding, they'd swap springs out for free, so ORex maybe you outta call 'em up if you think yours are too stiff. Maggie at Quinn's took my order this morning and told me I'll have the shocks tomorrow(!)

    I also ordered a SuperBrace. Seems like a simple way to achieve a good benefit.
  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    Did you go with the "road" shocks or "custom" shocks, and what was the difference? :ear
  11. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    The only difference it seems is the finish on the shock body. "Road" has a black finish and "custom" has a chrome finish.

    The stock shocks on the W have a chrome body with a black spring and black top shroud. I hate the chrome shock body because when it starts to corrode or get nasty, you can't really get in there to clean it up because of the spring.

    So I went for the black shock body with chrome spring and chrome top shroud (Hagon doesn't have a black top shroud). This way I hope to keep the black & chrome balance roughly in the same place it was before while making the thing easier to clean. :D
  12. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    Well, that was quick. Next day as promised.

    [​IMG]
  13. folmonty

    folmonty Been here awhile

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  14. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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  15. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    Thanks for the info on the shocks. Nice looking to say the least.

    Waiting for the ride report. :ear
  16. acap650

    acap650 acap650

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    I've had my Hagons for about six years. I went with the fully shrouded type with 16kg springs for my 150 lb weight. They are still rather stiff but I believe appropriate for the W650. They originally came with 20kg springs as set up by Dave Quinn for my weight. The bike felt like a hard tail on the softest preload. I sent them back for the 16kg spring. DQ was very easy to deal with. These are not premium shocks but an improvement over stock. I'm satisfied with them and feel they suit the bike well.

    [​IMG]
  17. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    Crap. I weigh about the same as you so after reading the above, I know I'm gonna have to send them back. Oh well, I'll try them out this weekend and see how bad it is. At least they're easy enough to remove/install
  18. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

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    If you had to do it again would you stay with the 16 or do you think you'd go even softer? I mean you've had the 16 for 6 years so the stiffness must not be bothering you that much.
  19. folmonty

    folmonty Been here awhile

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    The Jerk and I are in the same boat. Waiting to hear what he says about the 20kg springs but have heard the same as you describe. IYO if the combined rider weight was 300 lbs would you spec 16kg or ? BTW, those full shrouds look the shit on the W. Very nice!
  20. acap650

    acap650 acap650

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    I definitely would not go softer as I do load the hard bags sometimes. I feel that the old school frame, wheel, tire combo needs a firm rear suspension for stability. Also, the fixed rebound damping will not be suitable for a large the range of spring stiffness.

    The spring covers look cool but have one drawback - they squeak. :dunno